ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 Review : One HUGE problem

ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 is perfectly imperfect!

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme laptops are very popular among business people and for a good reason. They are well built 15-inch powerful machines that come with one of the best keyboards one could ask for on a laptop. The starting price for Thinkpad X1 Extreme is $1475 for the 9th gen intel i5 version and $1700 for 9th gen i7. These laptops are Lenovo’s most expensive laptops and are direct competitors to Dell’s 15 inch XPS and Apple’s Macbook Pro.

ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 is a well-built powerful laptop with an amazing keyboard. Unfortunately, it falls short of expectations when it comes to thermals and battery life.

Mark Tolbert

Specs as Reviewed (Price $1700)

Processor: 9th Gen Intel® Core™ i7-9750H (2.60GHz, up to 4.50GHz with Turbo Boost, 6 Cores, 12MB Cache)

Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64

Display Type: 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, anti-glare, 300 nits

Memory: 16GB DDR4 2666MHz

Hard Drive: 512GB SSD PCIe

Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1650 Max-Q 4GB

Wireless: Intel® AX200 Wi-Fi 6 802.11AX (2 x 2) & Bluetooth® 5.0

The Good

There’s not much this laptop can’t handle. Performance-wise this laptop will crush any business task you throw at it whether it be a simple browsing and Microsoft office task or more intensive task like video editing.

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When it comes to gaming it does a good job considering it’s not designed for gaming. I was able to run Doom on the highest graphical setting (1080p) at 100+ FPS and DausEx at 60 FPS.

The keyboard on this laptop is outstanding, it is the best keyboard you will find on a laptop; better than the coveted Macbook Pro Retina 2012-2015 keyboards.

The fingerprint reader is a nice and convenient way to unlock the laptop and it worked flawlessly.

The Bad

One of the most disappointing things about this laptop is its thermals. Even as I was installing windows on the machine the fans came on and it was not a good sign. The fans are loud and obnoxious. This is especially disappointing because they come on often, even when just browsing the internet or doing something as simple as watching a youtube video.

Despite the fans coming on and off the keyboard still got warm enough to notice but not enough to be uncomfortable.

Another disappointing aspect of this laptop is the battery life. While browsing and doing menial tasks, the battery lasted about 5 hours but as soon as I started more demanding tasks the battery only lasted 2 hours. This is bad really bad considering I opted for the 1080p 300 nit screen that uses the least amount of power. If you opt for a higher-end screen like 4k OLED you can expect that battery life to be cut in half.

The Ugly

The worst thing about this laptop and the reason I can not recommend it is the fingerprint/smudges that are left after even minor use of the laptop.

After using the laptop for only 4 days our laptop looked like I was leaving greasy burgers and pizza on the laptop and letting all the juices seep into the laptop. The laptop was so gross looking after 4 days that I personally would be embarrassed to take it into a Starbucks, meeting, or office as people would for sure think I was using the laptop while eating at the same time. Even worse it was not easy to clean in fact I was not able to clean all of the smudges/fingerprints and ended up sending the laptop back as pictured below.

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